Steve Southerland makes League of Conservation Voters’ “Dirty Dozen” list

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Republican Congressman Steve Southerland has been added to the “Dirty Dozen” of anti-environmental lawmakers by the League of Conservation Voters.

Every election cycle, the Dirty Dozen targets candidates — regardless of party affiliation — targeted as enemies of the environment and running races where the LCV has the best chances of affecting the outcome. LCV defeated 11 of the 12 Dirty Dozen candidates in the previous election cycle.

“Rep. Steve Southerland’s environmental record is about as bad as it gets,” said LVC National Press Secretary Jeff Gohringer said in an announcement today. “He’s voted time and again for extreme legislation that would endanger drinking water and harm Florida’s environment and economy.

“Enough is enough – Florida’s second district deserves a leader like Gwen Graham that puts people before polluters,” he added.

Southerland made the list for his lead sponsorship of the so-called Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014, which the LCV calls “a radical attack on clean water safeguards.”

The Act allows continued pollution of small streams and wetlands, and prevents the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing the proposed Clean Water Rule, which seeks to protect drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans.

Southerland has voted to protect oil subsidies including up to $53 billion in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies operating offshore. He also supports letting power plants – the nation’s largest source of  climate change pollution – emit unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air.

The Panama City Republican’s record earned him both a 0 percent ranking on LCV’s 2013 National Environmental Scorecard, the non-partisan yardstick used to rate Congress on environmental and clean energy issues.

In September, LCV Action Fund endorsed Southerland’s opponent, Democrat Gwen Graham, in the Florida 2nd Congressional District race, saying, “She will work to safeguard our environment and grow our clean energy economy.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.